NYC {june} Summer Dining

2010/09/07 § Leave a comment

It was a wonderfully full summer dining calendar.  Thanks to many many good friends who were in town.

COLICCHIO & SONS in Chelsea.   The dim, lofty space was impressive.  As was the stunning glass wine cellar up a flight of stairs traversing the entire width of the dining area.  Ordered the stinging nettle agnolotti with chorizo, pork belly and octopus for appetizer.  It was slightly salty and a tad heavy to start a meal.  The striped bass with clams, pea shoots and cranberry beans for the main course, however, was delicately cooked and retained much of its seafoody goodness.  The hands-down favorite was the lemon poppyseed muffin give-away that I savored one bite a day, fearful of the day when I will bite its last.

SHAKE SHACK at Madison Square Park.

Not a big burger fan but I do appreciate simple, juicy, delicious ones.  Believe it or not, the best one I’ve had was at this unassuming burger place in Biarritz.  Good burgers in France?!  I know.  It’s almost a sacrilege to happily snack on it several times during our stay given the abundance of good food (duck confit parmentier, oysters, tapas, etc.) that could be had.  Back to New York, attended admission ceremony right across the park so J and I decided to brave the notoriously long line to celebrate (which wasn’t all that long as it was too late for lunch and too early for dinner).  Got the ShackBurgers with cheese fries and vanilla shake.  Loved the fries and even went back for more another time.   Good burgers, hand-cut fries, hand-spun shakes and celebrations at the park – how much better could a New York afternoon be?

MOMOFUKU NOODLE BAR. Fried Chicken Dinner .

Friend didn’t read the message that the serving was good for eight people.  This was two whole fried chickens cooked in southern  and korean  style. Thus, three of us faced a mountain of chicken, a plateful of mu shu pancakes and veggies and a basket of herbs. We had a lovely time filling our pancakes with lettuce, radish, carrots, peppers and our choice of chicken and sauce.  The southern-style fried chicken (fried with buttermilk and old bay batter) went really well with the vinegar-based dipping sauce while  I really liked the ginger scallion sauce with the korean-style (triple fried and served with a light spicy glaze) one.

We tried, but even the group of five men behind us couldn’t finish theirs.  We were more than happy to bring home left-overs that spelled several days of tasty chicken dinners while watching  favorite TV shows.

Photo from 5963

PETER LUGER.  Went there with a friend from LA and his colleagues.  Place was packed but the bustling scene was quite nice.  Didn’t mind staying at the bar with a glass of wine while waiting to be seated.  It was enjoyable  to watch the assortment of people inside – business types, tourists, old couples, glamorous girls, hip groups, families with children, name it.  We had sliced tomatoes and onions, jumbo shrimp cocktails, porterhouse steak, lambchops, german fried potatoes and creamed spinach.  A veritable feast indeed.  The appetizers were fresh.  And the famed aged porterhouse steak did not disappoint.  Very tender, juicy and cooked perfectly rare as requested.  The cheesecake was also light and sweet enough to end the memorable meal.

PER SE.  Per Se.  Per Se.

Seeing old friends after many years is always a cause for celebration.  And what better way to celebrate than with the nine-course chef’s tasting at Per Se.  It is a pleasure to dress up every now and then and to feel that sense of occasion from the formality of the place.  We had a table at the raised dais overlooking the treetops of Central Park.  This oasis of calm is a welcome respite from the normal hustle and bustle of most restaurants in New York.  And the beautifully prepared food is a tiny slice of heaven.  I fondly remember the salmon coronet with creme fraiche and gruyere gougeres that started the meal brightly, the utterly luxurious “oyster and pearls” (island creek oysters and sterling white sturgeon caviar lying on a bed of pearl tapioca sabayon), the dreamy butter poached nova scotia lobster mitts, the succulent pan-roasted maine sea scallops,  and the delicious degustation of hoosick falls spring lamb.  We moved to the salon as J joined us for dessert.  {And what a bonus that there was no additional charge for the extra dessert plate and coffee} We, all three, happily took home beribboned gifts of decadent shortbread cookies with dark chocolate fillings.  It’s been a couple of months and I’m still searching in vain to find shortbread cookies as good as those.

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